By Alexander Kulik

This paintings presents the main to 1 of the main enigmatic Jewish Hellenistic texts preserved in Greek and Slavonic. even though three Baruch is without doubt one of the significant early Jewish apocalypses, it's been rather ignored in sleek scholarship, most likely considering the fact that three Baruch is likely one of the such a lot tough works to realize and classify. Its content material differs considerably from that of different writings of an identical style, because the e-book preserves syncretistic rules and trends that are mixed in specified methods. The worldview, the message, and the very textual constitution of three Baruch are enigmatic in lots of respects. the current examine demonstrates that the textual historical past of three Baruch, implicit meanings and structural hyperlinks in its textual content, in addition to conceptions in the back of the textual content, are in part reconstructable. additionally, three Baruch, adequately learn, considerably enriches our knowing of the background of the motifs present in early Jewish lore, from time to time delivering lacking hyperlinks among assorted levels in their improvement, and preserves vital facts at the roots of Jewish mysticism, proto-Gnostic and proto-Christian traditions. The learn includes the creation, synoptic translation, textual notes, and targeted commentaries.

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Additional info for 3 Baruch: Greek-Slavonic Apocalypse of Baruch (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature)

Example text

Although these motifs are ancient and some of them may be deduced from 5:3, they are only made explicit by G. – “That is why he did not permit Adam to touch it, and that is why the devil being envious deceived him through his vine” (4:8G). S confines itself to mention of the serpent, which is omitted in G and replaced by the expanded explanation. G provides biblical background, never given explicitly in S, and adds widely known motifs of the identification of the serpent of Eden with the devil, and their envy toward man.

The two Beasts must be part of a triad together with the Sun Bird appearing below, in correspondence with the Rabbinic triad of Leviathan, Behemoth, and Ziz. Baruch learns about the eating and drinking habits of the monster: “the dragon is he who eats the bodies of those who pass through life wickedly” (G, since the dead can enter Hell in body and be physically annihilated there; in S it eats earth instead, as the cursed serpent of Eden) and drinks every day a regular portion of water from the sea, which still does nor sink, being filled with rivers, a list of which is given.

Other angels (either the same “other” or a third group) weep and fear, since the angels may be punished for the sins of their charges; they ask Michael twice to dismiss them from evil men, whose transgressions they enumerate. Michael, as a high priest on the Day of Atonement, all alone and leaving other angels outside, goes behind the gate, which closes after him with a thunder, signifying that he brings the virtues of men to God. The gate opens again, and Michael distributes the oil of life from the celestial olive, the Tree of Life, that he himself planted (above).

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